Image:Rhino-216.jpgRhinoceros sculpture, Biological Sciences Building, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Rhinoceros

A rhinoceros (commonly called a rhino for short) is any of five surviving species of odd-toed ungulate in the family Rhinocerotidae. All five are native to Africa or Asia. Rhinoceros is also one of the genera in this family. more...

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A salient feature of this horned mammal is its protective skin formed from layers of collagen with optimal thickness of 4 in. positioned in a lattice structure. A group of rhinoceros is a called a crash.

Family

Family Rhinocerotidae

  • Ceratotherium
    • C. simum - White Rhinoceros
  • Dicerorhinus
    • D. sumatrensis - Sumatran Rhinoceros
  • Diceros
    • D. bicornis - Black Rhinoceros
  • Rhinoceros
    • R. unicornis - Indian Rhinoceros
    • R. sondaicus - Javan Rhinoceros
  • Coelodonta
    • C. antiquitatis - Woolly Rhinoceros (extinct)
  • Elasmotherium
    • E. sibiricum - Giant Rhinoceros (extinct)

Several rhinoceros species became extinct within geologically recent times, notably the Giant Unicorn and the Woolly Rhinoceros in Eurasia: the extent to which climate change or human predation was responsible is debated. Current evidence indicates that they probably had survived many climate changes when modern man arrived.

Rhinoceros-like animals first appeared in the Eocene as rather slender animals, and by the late Miocene there were many different species. Most were large. One, Indricotherium weighed about 30 tons and (so far as is known) was the largest terrestrial mammal that ever lived. Rhinos became extinct during the Pliocene in North America, and during the Pleistocene in northern Asia and Europe.

The five living species fall into three tribes. The critically endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros is the only surviving representative of the most primitive group, the Dicerorhinini, which emerged in the Miocene (abut 20 million years ago). The extinct Woolly Rhinoceros of northern Europe and Asia was also a member of this tribe. There are two living Rhinocerotini species, the endangered Indian Rhinoceros and the critically endangered Javan Rhinoceros, which diverged from one another about 10 million years ago. The two African species, the White Rhinoceros and the Black Rhinoceros, diverged during the early Pliocene (about 5 million years ago) but the Dicerotini group to which they belong originated in the middle Miocene, about 14 million years ago. The main difference between black and white rhinos is the shape of their lips. White rhinos have broad flat lips for grazing and black rhinos have long pointed lips for eating foliage. The name White Rhinoceros was actually a mistake for wide because of their lips.

A subspecific hybrid white rhino (Ceratotherium s. simum x C s cottoni) was bred at the Dvurkralv Zoo (Zoological Garden Dvur Kralove nad Labem) in the Czech Republic in 1977.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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